Amsterdam Tours

Amsterdam Tours

The interesting part about Amsterdam is that it is not as full with big monuments and classic buildings as other capital cities. More than that, it is the spirit of the city that attracts so many visitors each year. This spirit is best grasped by a walk around the canals on a nice and sunny day, admiring the many special facades of the buildings at the canals. The remaining original building consists of 16th, 17th and 18th century warehouses, where the products imported (or exploited) from Dutch colonies were stored before their sale. In this way, the rich history of the Dutch Golden Age is still visible in its very centre. Other important places to get an idea from are of course the Red Light District, but also areas as the Museumplein, the Vondelpark, Jordaan and de Pijp are well valued by Amsterdam’s visitors.

Amsterdam Red Light District

The Red Light District has proven to be the first and foremost attraction of Amsterdam: nowhere in the world is prostitution so openly performed. The red lights in the windows where women parade their bodies leave little for imagination. Therefore, the area is beloved by tourists from all over the world and groups having a bachelor or bachelorette party. The sex workers in the Netherlands are registered as entrepreneurs and even pay taxes for the services they offer. Nevertheless, it is a simple fact that not all prostitutes are there by free choice and it would be a sign of respect to behave correctly; please resist any temptation to take pictures or address them in a demeaning way. To know more about the history of the neighbourhood and the regulation of the profession, you can join a tour of the area.

For tours, see or Download an iPod or MP3 tour at

Amsterdam Canals

The canals of Amsterdam form its heart. Nothing as romantic as a stroll around the canals of Jordaan or de 9 straatjes. The waterways and quays flanked by old houses add to the incredible charm of the city that is beloved as a Venice of the North, although without water regulation problems or a Disneyland atmosphere. The oldest canals in the area around Dam originate from the 15th century. The four main canals, Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht are dug in the 17th century, just like the canals from the adjacent Jordaan area. The canals originate from the necessity to deal with the high amount of water in the ground. Build in a swamp, the excessive water had to be carried be away; otherwise Amsterdam would be a very wet city. The canals thus serve a vital function in the infrastructure to the city. Due to a lack of solidity of the ground, most building are build on poles, which are deeply anchored within the lower sand layers.

Amsterdam "De Dam"

Dam, or Dam square, is the central point of Amsterdam since its foundation. Dam is the location of the Royal Palace, originally build as a town hall in the seventeenth century, the fifteenth century Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) as well as the National Monument, where annually the victims of Second World War are remembered. Around the cobblestones of the square, you will also find the statue museum of Madame Tussauds, the department store Bijenkorf, and the famous Hotel Krasnapolsky. This is also the spot where living statues and street artists perform their shows.

Amsterdam "Jordaan en de 9 straatjes"

Jordaan, named after the biblical river where Jesus was baptized, was constructed in the 16th century when the canal system was extended westwards and space was created to give housing to the lower class. As such, it has retained the true character of Amsterdam for many years. Currently, it is one of the most hip areas that Amsterdam has to offer. The area with the most enchanting canals is very popular under students, artists and entrepreneurs, who all had their influence on the atmosphere of the neighbourhood. Several organisations offer tours to the area. Contact the tourist information office for contact details.

De 9 straatjes are situated between Jordaan on the one side and Dam and Spui on the other. With its great location, many small shops have concentrated here. The nine small streets are well-known for their nice culinary stores and little boutiques (see also the Shopping section). The website of the association of local shopkeepers gives a great overview. See to be informed.

Amsterdam "De Pijp"

De Pijp is build in the 19th century to supply extra housing in an age of huge population growth. At the time, the area was mostly inhabited by poorer people. Nowadays, the lower class has largely made place for young urban professionals (yuppie’s) and their older pendants, in Dutch called bakfietspapa and bakfietsmama. The term refers to a dad or mum who carries his or her young children around with a carrier bike. This of course has dramatically changed the atmosphere of the neighbourhood. Apart from the many nice pubs, the principle attractions of the area are the Heineken Experience and the market of Albert Cuypstraat.

Amsterdam Parks

The biggest and most famous park of Amsterdam is Vondelpark, a very nice and well-designed green area in the centre Amsterdam. Many inhabitants see it as a great place to spend their free time and you will see a lot of joggers and inline skaters. The Sarphatipark in de Pijp area is named after the Jewish doctor Sarphati. Apart from an interesting statue of the good man, the park includes some nice paths and ponds. Despite being smaller than Vondelpark, it is just as nice as its bigger cousin. A third park you might like is the Oosterpark, at the eastern side of the city, very close to the Tropics museum. In this park, you will find the monument to Theo van Gogh (a great-grandchild of the brother of the famous painter Vincent). He was a very controversial filmmaker and columnist who used to speak with a lot of disdain about Muslims. His assassination by an extremist Muslim on November 2nd 2004 dramatically altered the course of the debate on immigration and integration in the Netherlands. The monument in his honour, named De schreeuw (The Scream) attempts to ask questions about the role that the freedom of speech plays in Western societies.

Search and book

1 Choose your destination